Masters News

Sunday 07th May 2023

Ward/Maydon complete dominant Masters Gent Drivers run at Hockenheim while Rosendahl/Nyblaeus corner Pre-66 Touring Car win

Robin Ward and Ron Maydon drove home a dominant Masters Gentlemen Drivers win after a stunning opening stint by Ward put their Ginetta G4R at the front by well over a minute, helped by their main rival – the Ollie Reuben/Harry Barton TVR Griffith – missing the pit window and having to come in for a second time.

“It was good”, said Ward about his demon opening stint. “Both Ollie and Harry are good drivers, but I knew Ollie was going to have brake trouble, so I just kept pushing him, not really trying to overtake him. Yes, I gave Ron a good lead but he got down to good times himself, though!”

George McDonald, in the pole-sitting Ginetta shared with Owen Adelman, made it a G4R 1-2 by relentlessly chasing down the Lee Mowle/Phil Keen Jaguar E-type and making the pass with two minutes left on the clock. German Markus Jörg put down a storming drive to have his Lotus 11 up to second overall, but could do nothing about the Keen and McDonald comeback drives.

“I kept trying but I didn’t think I would get him, as I was getting low on brakes,” said McDonald. “I set it up all the way from the arena, and knew I could get him if I tricked him into defending when the Elite [of Robert Ingram] came up…”

“He was pretty good through the infield”, Keen confirmed. “And then when the Elite appeared, it indicated me to go to the right, and he went past on the left!”

James Hagan and Andrew Haddon brought their Cobra Daytona Coupé home in fifth while Harry Barton salvaged sixth in the TVR. Behind the two Ginettas in front, Peter Reynolds took third in the CLP class in his Lotus Elan 26R. In C2, Caroline Rossi took the spoils in her Austin Healey 3000 after the Keith Ahlers/Billy Bellinger Morgan SLR faltered early on.

In the concurrent 60-minute touring car race, Swedes Johan Rosendahl and Nils-Fredrik Nyblaus proved victorious in their Ford Falcon, partly aided by the Harry Barton/Alex Brundle BMW 1800 tiSA failing to make it to the finish.

Rounding off the Masters grids playing their part at the Bosch Hockenheim Historic, the combined Masters Gentlemen Drivers & Pre-66 Touring Car field came out right on time to start their 90-minute race – with the touring cars running 30 minutes shorter. Owen Adelman in the Ginetta G4R put on pole by teammate George McDonald was immediately put under pressure by Lee Mowle’s E-type, but it was Ollie Reuben, however, who soon passed both of them to take an early lead in the TVR Griffith. Reuben was followed through by the fast-starting Robin Ward in the second Ginetta G4R as well as Michiel Campagne in the thundering Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

Another man on the way up was Markus Jörg in the open-top Lotus 11, the German soon snatching sixth at the detriment of James Hagan’s Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupé. The next time around, Jörg was fourth ahead of Alexander Kolb’s Cobra that had also dealt with Mowle’s Jag, Hagan’s Daytona Cobra and Stephan Joebstl’s Lotus Elan. Adelman, meanwhile, having made a mistake, dropped to tenth behind Peter Reynolds’ Elan.

Three laps into the race, the field had settled into its natural rhythm, with Reuben leading Ward by 4.6 seconds and Campagne by nine. Jörg remained fourth, 12 seconds down on the leader, while Kolb and Mowle gave chase, separated by three seconds. Joebstl and Reynolds had moved up a place thanks to Hagan dropping time while Manfredo Rossi was up into tenth with his Shelby Mustang GT350.

In C2, Billy Bellinger’s Morgan SLR led Caroline Rossi’s Austin Healey 3000 while among the touring cars Harry Barton’s BMW 1800 tiSA kept Johan Rosendahl at bay in Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus’ Ford Falcon. At the back, Robert Ingram held his own in the Lotus Elite S2, with Marc Sydow bringing up the rear in his Mini Cooper S.

The first 15 minutes gone, Reuben still led but Ward had closed the gap down to 2.4 seconds while dropping Campagne by 14 seconds, the Dutchman now under fierce pressure from Jörg in the nippy Lotus. Kolb and Mowle still circulated with five-second gaps in front as well as behind them, the same applying to Joebstl, Hagan and Reynolds, the latter now chased by Adelman who had repassed Rossi. Bellinger continued to head C2, followed around by Mark Drain’s Elan, while Harry Barton had put some 16 seconds between himself and Rosendahl in the Falcon.

On lap 7, Jörg’s little Lotus found a way past Campagne’s brawny Corvette Grand Sport while on lap 10 James Hagan snatched seventh overall from Joebstl, but apart from that, the situation looked to remain unchanged until the field reached the touring-car pit window. Not so for the leading touring car, however, as Harry Barton went missing about a minute away from handing over to Alex Brundle who, as a consequence, would sit out this race without any work on his hands. Then, another car in trouble proved to be the Morgan SLR, Bellinger coming in for an unscheduled stop on lap 12 before announcing their retirement with an engine issue, leaving Keith Ahlers without a race drive. With Caroline Rossi passing Rosendahl’s Ford Falcon on the road, she now grabbed the opportunity to go into the C2 class lead.

As Reuben maintained his slender 1.7-second lead over Ward, Jörg was a firm third, 28 seconds down, as Campagne now trailed the Lotus by 11 seconds. Behind them, Mowle’s E-type had deposed Kolb’s Cobra from fifth while Hagan had put some space betwen himself and Joebstl in eighth. The Austrian was chased hard by American Adelman in ninth, himself followed at close quarters by Peter Reynolds in another Elan 26R.

Sydow was the first touring car driver to take his mandatory stop, as Rosendahl left it late to switch over to Nyblaeus, while in among the CLP class occupying second to fourth in class Adelman, Reynolds and Joebstl had switched around to reflect the order just mentioned.

After many laps of stablemate, things at the front were hotting up, however, as Ward closed up on Reuben to finally make the pass stick on lap 16. And no sooner than Ward had claimed the lead, the TVR Griffith was into the pits for an untimely stop, adding to the misery of its team’s BMW having failed before. One minute and 42 seconds later, it was back out again, the team admitting to mixing up pit windows, but the result was that the TVR dropped down to eighth behind Reynolds in the Elan. Almost simultaneously, Campagne’s Corvette was in as well, and the Dutch car remained static while the Gent Drivers pit window opened, with Ward now leading Jörg, Mowle, Kolb, an ever-improving Adelman and Hagan.

The latter was the first to blink, as the Irishman handed the Daytona Cobra to Andrew Haddon. Hagan was soon joined in the pits by Joebstl (handing over to Philipp Buhofer) and Mark Drain, while at the front Ward’s lead now amounted to a massive 46 seconds over Jörg. Next into the pits were Rossi (M.), Rossi (C.), Adelman (to change over to George McDonald), Kolb and Mowle (handing the wheel to Phil Keen). Meanwhile, news emerged from the garages that Campagne had retired with brake problems. On lap 22, Ward came in to hand the leading Ginetta G4R to Ron Maydon.

Two cars were in trouble as a result of their stops, though. Manfredo Rossi was forced to retire with a flat tyre while Marc Sydow’s Mini coasted to a halt at pit exit, as Jörg and Reynolds were the last ones to pit – and then, just as the pit window closed, the Reuben/Barton Griffith was back in to correct their earlier mistake.

With all the stops behind us, Maydon nursed a massively comfortable lead of well over a minute over Jörg, but behind the German the quick relief drivers Keen and McDonald were both flying. Kolb was fifth ahead of Haddon and Reynolds while Harry Barton had his work cut out for him in eighth. The Elans of Buhofer and Drain were next, followed by C2 class leader Caroline Rossi and the car that would soon be flagged off as the touring car winner – the Ford Falcon of Swedish pairing Johan Rosendahl and Nils-Fredrik Nyblaeus.

While lapping a couple of seconds off the ultimate pace, Maydon looked to have enough in hand to bring the car home for the win but Jörg could not afford to take a rest, as Keen and McDonald cut the German’s lead by two seconds every lap. Keen now trailed by 18 seconds, with McDonald a further nine ticks behind. Meanwhile, Haddon had passed Kolb for fifth and trailed McDonald by 20 seconds. One lap later, on lap 28, Barton also passed the German Cobra to be sixth, as Reynolds led the Reynolds/Buhofer/Drain Lotus Elan train in eighth, ninth and tenth, with third place in the CLP class at stake. It was obvious that all was not well with Kolb’s Cobra as it plummeted down the order, now also caught by Reynolds, with Buhofer closing in fast.

As Maydon continued to cruise in the lead, the attention of the next few minutes was focused on Jörg rapidly losing his lead over Keen who himself was caught by McDonald. Haddon was now 26 seconds down on the quicker cars in front of him while Barton tried all he could to cut the 11-second deficit to the Cobra Daytona Coupé.

33 laps gone, Keen had done it to pass the Lotus 11, but behind them, McDonald was in the 2.05s to go even faster than both of them, and duly, two laps later, the Ginetta demoted Jörg to fourth to continue its chase of Keen’s Jag, as McDonald improved to set fastest lap of the race.

With ten minutes remaining on the clock, Maydon’s lead was still a full minute, so all eyes were on Keen and McDonald fighting over the runner-up spot. Lap after lap, the pair were nose to tail, Keen defending hard, but on lap 40, with two minutes remaining, McDonald completed the pass with a trick move involving a backmarker. Maydon, meanwhile, kept 47 seconds in hand to drive home a dominant overall win and a CLP class win. Behind McDonald and Keen, Jörg took fourth ahead of the Hagan/Haddon Daytona Cobra and the Reuben/Barton Griffith. In seventh overall, Peter Reynolds took third in the CLP class, with Kolb sandwiched by two more Lotus Elans – those of Joebstl/Buhofer and Drain. Despite a spin on the final lap, Caroline Rossi won in C2.



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